Gold Award winners L - Z


In this section you will find details of the 2013 Gold Award winning sites, listed alphabetically from L - Z by contractor name.

A8 Dualling Belfast to Larne
Presented to: The A8 Project Team
Contractor: Lagan Ferrovial Costain
Client: Department for Regional Development - Roads Service

a8-duellingThis Northern Ireland project required design and construction to upgrade 14 kilometres of main road into dual carriageways.

The total size of the works area meant that a large number of homes and businesses could potentially be affected by site operations. Prior to commencement, the site team carried out a detailed study of each part of the area using aerial photos and Ordnance Survey maps to ensure that all interested parties were consulted and informed. Ongoing communication was of an equally high order, and included many community associations, resulting in productive neighbour dialogue.

In addition to a full environmental survey at the start, regular site visits were made by external consultants and ecologists to ensure both wildlife and vegetation was properly cared for. Cleanliness was a further site priority, with hardcore areas and power-washers helping ensure that mud was kept from leaving the site. Frequent inspections, clean-downs and litter picks of the surroundings gave a particular impressive external presentation.

In addition, there were many instances of goodwill gestures, plus archaeology visits for schools and support for angling clubs. The overall result was an extremely professional operation which set extremely high standards of considerate site practices.

Francis Crick Institute Project
Presented to: The Site Delivery Team
Contractor: Laing O'Rourke Services Ltd
Client: Francis Crick Institute


This project was for the construction of a new research facility with an ancillary education faculty next to St Pancras Station and behind the British Library.

Alerting neighbours about any potentially noisy or disruptive operations, as well as about general progress, was centred on letter drops, supported by regular well-presented newsletters available in two languages. An easy-to-access visitor centre was set up for further information and explanatory information panels were included on the site's hoardings.

Activity within the wider community included complimentary work done for neighbours, working with Transport for London on pedestrian flows during the Olympics, and the extensive employment of local labour. Introductory science classes relevant to the project were given to local children while visits were paid to a girl's school to promote an interest in construction. Landscaping by the site's own trainees and apprentices was donated to a local convent, and the progress of all work placement individuals was tracked following their placement, and further support offered.

This site also demonstrated a highly inclusive and team-spirited approach, with genuine enthusiasm for high standards throughout the workforce. It was a shining example of considerate construction in action.

Exchange, ESI and AIR
Presented to: The Site Team
Contractor: Leadbitter Group
Client: Tremough Development Vehicle


This site, at Penryn in Cornwall, involved three new build projects on an existing university campus.

The presentation at this site was of the highest order, with a dedicated 'meet and greet centre' outside the hoarding and a tarmaced contractor's car park with surrounding walkways. Extensive wheelchair ramps were also included. The site hoardings were constructed from recycled plastics in the contractor's livery, with carry panels showing the completed buildings. Integration with the student body and with site neighbours was initiated via a "Meet the Builder" event, and by the taking of a stand at the Fresher's Day to explain the project. This was supported by numerous goodwill initiatives, including a Summer Festival, the burying of a time capsule and support for a local adventure charity. The site team also staged a school's liaison day with year 10 pupils from Falmouth School, and the CCS ethos was explained to university students.

Equality and diversity training was offered to all the workforce, and good welfare facilties and a discounted gym rate were also provided. Most of all, the site team paid great attention to the detail of considerate construction, and showed a willingness to constantly improve wherever possible.

West Street, BS3 3NB
Presented to: The Site Team
Contractor: Leadbitter Group
Client: Knightstone Housing Association


In a busy commercial and residential area of Bristol, this project required the building of 14 flats in two and three storey buildings, as a "train and build" scheme with the Community Self Build Agency and KHA. Ten ex-servicemen trainees will live in the finished flats, along with four tenants with learning difficulties.

The training and safe employment of people with no construction experience demands exceptional care, especially when a project is firmly in the media spotlight. This care was delivered to the highest levels by the site team, including the successful integration with subcontractors, and extended down to innovative details such as the wearing of coloured wristbands to identify any medical conditions.

Community support was clearly of equal importance, with initiatives such as a barbecue prepared by the trainees, the relaying of slabs in a pub garden, and the maintenance of an old chimney at an antique shop. Most importantly, the site's friendly and co-operative approach created strong ties with neighbours so that when the trainees move into their finished flats, they will already feel part of the community. The site is also looking at future employment opportunities for the trainees when the work is completed.

Excellent safety performance and first-class presentation complemented these efforts, and produced a site that was beacon to what can be achieved in considerate construction.

Spittal Primary School
Presented to: The Lend Lease Team
Contractor: Lend Lease Ltd
Client: South Lanarkshire Council


In a residential area with shops, and on the site of an existing active primary school, this project required the construction of a new single storey school.

From the start of works a pelican crossing was erected at the site entrance to ensure the safe access of staff and pupils. Safety talks were subsequently given at the existing school, and the safety ethic was strongly promoted on all areas of the site. An excellent relationship was built between the school and contractors through pupil activities such as a poster competition and the building of an insect hotel, while regular dialogue with teachers ensured the running of the school was not interrupted. A meeting was held for all prospective local suppliers, resulting in a high rate of involvement including subcontractors. A large rock excavated from the site was cleaned and engraved with the school name, while a time capsule day added to the legacy left on site.

The site also donated concrete and other excess materials to neighbours and offered PAT testing. The site was also the first to have a designated waste transfer station where all waste was separated into individual streams.

Despite being a project of relatively small size, the team showed great enthusiasm and a real attention to detail which conveyed a first-class impression of the industry.

The British Museum - World Conservation & Exhibitions Centre
Presented to: Willie Shaw
Contractor: Mace
Client: The British Museum


Adjacent to the Grade 1 listed British Museum in London, and with residential and educational neighbours, this project required the construction of a new exhibition centre.

The issuing of a free mug and T-shirt to all operatives to recognise 500,000 accident-free man hours illustrates both the high safety standards and the support of operatives at this busy site. Further to this, a children's safety poster competition was organised by the site and drawings from a local school were made into a captioned safety calendar. Working operations were extremely flexible to accommodate site neighbours, and co-operation included the nearby museum making space available to students from local schools for studying during noisy works.

Excellent welfare facilities, which were away from public view, included a hot food canteen, lockers, Wi-Fi access and televisions, and there were extensive healthcare initiatives in place. These included talks by hospital specialists on subjects such as testicular cancer.

In describing the site, the Scheme Monitor reported: "I have rarely seen such interaction and consideration with those affected by the works. It was quite exemplary."

Shard London Bridge
Presented to: Mike Lynch
Contractor: Mace Ltd
Client: Sellar Property Group


Located in central London next to a station and hospital, this iconic project was to construct the tallest building in Western Europe with residential apartments, offices, a hotel and a public viewing gallery.

As arguably the highest profile construction project in the UK, and within an extremely busy part of the capital, this project attracted constant attention from the public and media as well as site neighbours. In response, the site maintained an extremely smart and professional profile as well as excellent communication with the community. Photographic hoardings were regularly cleaned and inspected, while approaches were immaculately maintained. Regular newsletters were supported by monthly meetings held in two locations and with over 2000 invitees. Countless fundraising and community support initiatives were actioned, and in addition, the site joined local businesses and the local authority in establishing Better Bankside, an initiative to encourage further contractors in the area to support the community.

A particularly considerate action was the re-working of eight planned road closures down to just one in order to assemble and dismantle cranes.

As part of the workforce health checks, over 100 foreign operatives were identified with hearing problems of which they were unaware of, and an Olympics-linked initiative for 800 schoolchildren created a football pitch, running track and beach volleyball court while the team also received a special commendation from Women in Construction.

Supported by top safety and environmental scores, this team's performance was exemplary and constituted a magnificent example of considerate construction in action.

Robert Gordon University
Presented to: Duncan Nicol
Contractor: Miller Construction (UK) Ltd
Client: Robert Gordon University


Located on the university campus in Aberdeen, this project required the construction of a large new building to consolidate departments currently situated around the area.

Incentivised performance targets, applying to operatives and subcontractors alike, were set for energy and water usage, recycling, waste management, the reuse of surplus materials, and health and safety compliance. These targets were closely monitored by site managers and resulted in a culture of real environmental awareness. Liaison with site neighbours and other interested parties included regular meetings to discuss site issues, and the success of these efforts was reflected in the high number of complimentary letters received. Meanwhile, community outreach included presentations to local pupils on careers, design, use of materials, health and safety, and CV preparation to encourage young people into the construction industry. For younger school pupils, surplus timber was donated for the building of bird boxes, squirrel feeders and a 'bug hotel'.

With additional landscaping introduced to minimise the impact of the development, and excellent medical welfare facilities provided, this site excelled in every area of considerate site practice.

Milton Primary School
Presented to: Tom Blair
Contractor: Morgan Sindall plc
Client: South Lanarkshire Council


Bordered by a recently completed senior school and housing, this project required the construction of a new primary school on a Brownfield site.

This site team created an excellent dialogue between themselves and the existing school, giving a real feeling of involvement to both staff and pupils. This was extended to the wider community with a range of goodwill gestures including the drainage of a field during a period of flooding, the salting of pavements for site neighbours and extensive charity fundraising. Of particular note was the site's staging of a special 'Trades Day' for those schoolchildren unable to afford a school trip enjoyed by other pupils. This included joining the tradesman for lunch, shadowing them while they worked, staff presentations and a goody bag to take home.

On the last Friday of each month, a buffet lunch was provided for all site personnel allowing staff and management to interact and discuss project progress. At the closing out of the project, site huts were transferred to another part of the town at the contractor's expense, and donated to the local amateur boxing club.

This site was a valued and respected part of the community, which went to considerable efforts to present considerate construction at its very best.

Lee Tunnel Project
Presented to: François Pogu
Contractor: MVB
Client: Thames Water Utilities Ltd


This project involved the construction of a four-mile-long tunnel beneath East London from Abbey Mills to Beckton, and of some 80 metres depth, to complement the existing sewerage system.

Environmental awareness was taken to a whole new level at this site, going well beyond conservation alone and stimulating great interest in all environmental matters amongst the workforce. Regular talks resulted in a range of activities and interests being taken up, including bird-watching and photography, and were exemplified in the confidence of an operative going to the rescue of an entangled swan. On the site itself, an innovative new machine was used to crush empty grease drums, while tree trimmings were collected, stockpiled and prepared for future use in wildlife habitats to be created on roofs. Various other wildlife initiatives were introduced including the construction of a 'hotel' for invertebrates.

The establishment of French and English language classes for the large number of workers from both countries, led to excellent integration and the further establishment of other interest groups. Extensive support for local schools and colleges was complemented by the raising of £685 for charity in the Thames Raft Race.

With innovative and incentivised safety initiatives, superlative presentation and dedicated promotion of the Scheme ethic both internally and externally, this site is an excellent advertisement for the construction industry.

Project Merlin, Waterswallows Lane
Presented to: Tony Quick and the Site Team
Contractor: Pochin Construction Limited
Client: Nestle Waters UK Ltd


This project, bordered by three farms, required the construction of a new bottling plant for Buxton Mineral Water within a Greenfield site.

The semi-rural location of the site demanded careful environmental attention, and this was addressed in full measure by the site team. In addition to the extensive creation of new wildlife habitats, excavated rock was crushed and recycled on site while voids were used for other excavated materials. Energy conservation was regularly addressed at toolbox talks, while water and energy use on site was constantly monitored. An extensive archaeological dig across the site discovered artefacts from the Neolithic era, and these were passed to Buxton Community School with the assistance of the Buxton Heritage Society. The extent and combination of environmental initiatives was described by the visiting Scheme Monitor as "truly exceptional".

Extensive community involvement included visits from schools and universities, with site placements for students from Derby University who were assisting with landscape design. Particular support was given to the struggling Fairfield Brass Band, with work carried out free of charge at the band's rehearsal facility.

Most importantly, this site afforded equal attention to all areas of considerate construction and promoted its benefits wherever possible. The result was a significant achievement and a credit to the aims of the Scheme.

Waitrose Ltd - Knightsbridge Conversion
Presented to: Brendan O'Sullivan and Bryony Levermore
Contractor: RG Group
Client: Waitrose Ltd


This six-week project opposite Harrods and in an upmarket residential and commercial area required the conversion of former bed store into a Waitrose store on two levels.

Despite the short duration of the project, staff and operatives at this site showed a real willingness to understand their surroundings and connect with the local community. All operatives were issued with 'Welcome to Knightsbridge' packs bearing details of local facilities and tourist attractions, and two viewing points were provided for public inspection of work progress. Many odd jobs were carried out for site neighbours as a goodwill gesture, and the team provided both volunteers and food donations for a nearby homeless shelter.

For operative transport, the use of 'Boris' bikes were encouraged by the contractor paying 50% of the costs. Site notices were printed in Polish as well as English, and an innovative 'In Case of Emergency' scheme saw operatives place their home contact details on the home screens of their mobile phones.

The entire site area and its approaches were immaculately maintained, and the cheerful professionalism of site staff added to the excellent impression given of the modern construction industry at work.

European Marine Science Park
Presented to: Peter Baikie
Contractor: Robertson
Client: Highlands and Islands Enterprise

On a Scottish coastal peninsular on the edge of the village of Dunbeg, with Dunstaffnage castle on one boundary, this project comprised the building of a two- storey detached building to house offices and laboratories within the European Marine Science Park.

To avoid traffic delays caused by necessary road upgrades, the site team constructed a temporary road through the site with a footpath and traffic calming measures. A Scheme complaints log was sent to all nearby neighbours to record any problems, and a copy was also posted on the village notice board. All site staff carried photo ID and details were circulated to neighbours and to local schools.

Staff were encouraged to be carbon-aware through a questionnaire for home and the workplace, and the allocation of checklist duties to a different operative each week ensured the ethic of safety was fully appreciated. An open day for local construction companies was held on site to promote sustainable building, minimise waste and encourage registration with the Scheme.

The range of goodwill gestures to the community was extremely impressive and included resurfacing a church car park, repairs to a school woodland walk footpath, the donation of topsoil for use on a football pitch, sponsorship of a drama group, cutting back a hedge to a public road, and refurbishment to a Sea Cadet building.

This site reached benchmark levels of cleanliness and presentation throughout and gave a superb impression of the modern construction industry.

Sainsbury's Supermarket, Ashton under Lyne
Presented to: Mark Alford
Contractor: S Dudley and Sons Ltd
Client: Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd

This project required the internal and external remodelling of an existing Sainsbury's store on a retail park close to a town centre while the store remained operational.

The site team observed at an early stage the potential for accidents on the access road as both site and delivery drivers negotiated a blind bend. They therefore introduced a temporary traffic light system that proved such a significant safety improvement that the store plans to install a permanent system following the works.

Potential noise and vibration were carefully monitored throughout the site and measures introduced to minimise their effects. The existing car parks were checked for litter on a daily basis and a road sweeper was employed to maintain dust and mud-free surfaces. The site welfare facilities were of a high standard and immaculately maintained by a professional cleaning team. The whole site team, including subcontractors, was encouraged to support the local community and in addition to four staged events, the team also assisted in the physical moving of a YMCA charity shop.

With photo-voltaic panels installed for power provision, a sound conservation policy, and a professional appearance throughout, this site created an excellent impression of today's construction industry.

Bransholme Health Centre, Northpoint, Hull
Presented to: Sean Henderson
Contractor: Sewell Construction Ltd
Client: Citycare

This project, on the Bransholme housing estate in Hull, was for the £15 million building of a new health centre, and on completion, demolition of the original building for a car park.

Site personnel truly committed themselves to community affairs, building exceptional relationships with local organisations and donating a considerable amount of free work. A community centre was fully redecorated, a Methodist church had its car park resurfaced and energy usage favourably renegotiated, the local hospice was extensively largely refitted, and a football team had its changing facilities refurbished. A well-organised open day for the general public and all community groups cemented the success of these goodwill gestures.

The rodding and cleaning of drains at the neighbouring shopping centre, together with re-concreting of the gulley surrounds, alleviated any issues caused by site. In addition, an environmental champion was appointed to encourage all subcontractors to participate in achieving a 75% BREEAM rating and a 95% waste recycling rate.

The site's clinical standards in procedure and cleanliness complemented the warm community relations, making it an outstanding example of CCS best practice.

Marks and Spencer, Cheshire Oaks
Presented to: William Lawler
Contractor: Simons Construction Ltd
Client: Marks & Spencer plc


On a Greenfield site bordered by residential properties, a large retail and leisure park and a car dealership, this project required the construction of a new retail store.

Supported by ad hoc personal conversations as well as regular meetings, this site made extensive use of the internet to promote community interaction and to minimise site waste. Twitter and Facebook were used for information dissemination and for community feedback, while extensive use was made of all social media to find homes for surplus materials. These ranged from 2,500 sheets of used plywood floor protection, to cable drums that were turned into garden furniture. A further Facebook page was established by the site for the local church to help raise money to repair the roof, and the combined contacts made through all these routes provides a legacy of local communication which will be handed on to the client.

A number of site tours were provided for organisations and individuals, and a village hall car park was resurfaced and white lined. Regular educational support was given at all levels from primary schools to PhD students, as well as site training in various disciplines.

This well-presented site had a policy of continuous considerate improvement, and this was clearly evident. The result was high scores, and site of which the industry can be very proud.

Brent Civic Centre
Presented to: Paul Roberts
Contractor: Skanska Construction Building - London and South East
Client: London Borough of Brent


On a brownfield site near Wembley Stadium and Arena, this project involved the construction of a ten storey, concrete-frame office building with curtain wall finish and underground parking, to house a range of council facilities.

This site was located in a multi-ethnic area, and much consideration was shown towards the community, through personal participation in community events and the sensitive integration of all cultures in neighbour relations. This participation included the raising of £1400 for local charities, and the full refurbishment of the garden at a nearby women's refuge. Many other examples were in evidence of specific assistance or support provided to local community interests, including the supply of timber waste to a community wood reclamation scheme. Additional timber such as shuttering was also sent for use on other projects. A high proportion of the site's workforce was sourced from the local area, and Diversity Week was particularly well organised with involvement by all staff.

High safety scores were recorded with incentivised performance initiatives clearly in evidence, and similar attention was paid to environmental matters, with a 97% avoidance of landfill achieved and a BREEAM target of "outstanding" as the set objective.

This extremely well-presented site observed the detail of considerate construction throughout their activities, and stands as an excellent ambassador for the construction industry.

HMP & YOI Grampian
Presented to: The Project Team
Contractor: Skanska UK plc
Client: Scottish Prison Services


This project, in a residential area with primary school nearby, required the construction of a new £90 million community prison for 550 inmates to be built on the site of the Peterhead prison.

Excellent community relations were central to this project. Together with representatives from the Scottish Prison Service and Grampian Police, the project director became a member of the Community Impact Group which held regular open evening meetings. Together with regular newsletters to provide site updates, this established an effective ongoing dialogue with the community and the swift identification of any concerns or issues.

Approximately £15000 worth of refurbishment for the local primary school toilets and cloakrooms was undertaken free of charge and delivered new cubicles, sanitary fittings, lighting and flooring. A safety quiz day was also held at the school with new bicycles for the winners and personalised safety certificates for all those taking part. Both on and off-site traffic management plans were purpose-designed to route site vehicles away from the school.

With excellent scores across the board, this was an exceptionally good site whose innovative ideas not only embraced the requirements of the Scheme, but raised the standards even higher.

375 Kensington High Street
Presented to: Graham Hill
Contractor: St Edward Homes Ltd
Client: St Edwards Homes Limited


This brownfield site project in Kensington, London involved a significant redevelopment of new homes, multi-storey commercial and retail units, plus a new school.

A hallmark of this extensive site was its success in both informing and involving the community in which it was located. Right from the start the team used various communication channels to tell neighbours exactly what the project would mean to the area as well as the actual methods of construction and environmental achievements. Ongoing dialogue was strongly encouraged, and a mix of meetings, viewing areas, site visits, displays and written communications gave the area a real sense of ownership and involvement. A specially-built platform was even created to allow guest residents to attend a topping-out ceremony without the need to wear PPE.

On the site itself, project-branded work wear complemented the overall presentation while excellent welfare and healthcare facilities ensured the safety and well-being of the workforce. Away from the site, special leave was granted to staff to enable them to organise gardening for and by disabled children, while the supply of a JCB digger to assist was particular popular.

High environmental scores and a highly-effective traffic management plan rounded off the many highlights of this site, which was a first-rate ambassador for the principles of considerate construction.

The Tower St George Wharf - Shell and Core and Internal Fit Out
Presented to: Stephen Kirwan
Contractor: St George South London-Brookfield Construction JV
Client: St George South London Ltd


On a former brownfield site in central London, abutting the Thames plus residential and commercial areas, this major project involved the shell construction and core internal fit-out of 223 high quality apartments on 52 floors.

From the start of this project, community relations remained at the heart of its considerate practices. Excellent initial and ongoing communication was centred on a detailed 3D model of the project which was shown to neighbours, local schools and at site inductions. This was supported by newsletters, updated signage, regular monthly meetings and many tours of the site for local interest groups, as well as assistance given to local schools in the building of an Eco House. Time and materials supported the charity 'Colour a Child's Life', whereby the site team transformed the living conditions of a single mother and her children in a nearby disadvantaged community. For the Queen's Jubilee Flotilla, specialist contractors cleaned the riverside and river pathways while the local community and the BBC were invited to watch the event from the site.

Within the site, materials re-use and the reduction of landfill requirement were of excellent levels, while unused paint was converted into solid bocks for ease of removal. With immaculate presentation at the site itself and with approaches as far as 200 metres away regularly cleaned and litter-picked, this site was a beacon of all that is best in considerate construction.

Bradfield School Project (PFI)
Presented to: Craig McLackland and Matthew Kingston
Contractor: VINCI Construction UK Ltd
Client: Sheffield Learning Education Partnership


This project required the construction of a new senior school on a greenfield site adjacent the existing operational school.

The initial establishment of a compound and car park, specifically constructed to minimise any inconvenience, evidenced this site's commitment to considerate construction. This was complemented by extensive support of the existing school and the community in general. Due to restrictions on the school site, the site sponsored and helped run the school sports day which was held six miles away at an indoor track. Staff from the site worked very closely with school pupils on other initiatives including production of the school and site newsletters which were distributed to all in the village. Numerous employment initiatives included back-to-work projects, a number of placements and sponsorships and two full time job opportunities for school pupils. After completion of the work, the project manager has continued on as a governor of the school while extensive village green landscaping was left as a legacy gift to the village.

The number of health and safety initiatives in place was exemplary, as were the staff welfare facilities. All in all, the impact of this site on it's locale was entirely positive, and set an excellent example for others to follow.

Orchard Village Phase 2
Presented to: Robert Finbow, Robert Coppen and Osman Mustafa
Contractor: Willmott Dixon Housing Ltd
Client: Old Ford Housing Association


The project required the demolition of a large estate in sections, including tower blocks, and the construction of new residential properties for Old Ford Housing.

Communication channels with the local community have been developed to an exceptional degree over time with both management and operatives taking an active part. A social calendar was maintained on site, fed by staff interaction with site neighbours, and showed information about local events including deaths and births, ensuring sensitive management of work patterns. Regular resident surveys were also carried out, and concerns identified over possible road disruption led to an entirely different work sequence being adopted.

Much attention was also directed to creating wildlife and flora habitats with the help of local children, who also supplied drawings for a professional artist to create a legacy mosaic on the site. Changes made to roads, verges and green areas were upgraded as a further legacy for the community's use, and both litter and dog droppings bins were provided in public spaces. The site's own training programmes for skills and site safety were extended to residents to help with future employment, and a number of apprentices were also taken on.

Both the approaches and site areas were maintained in an immaculate condition and these standards, combined with the exemplary levels of neighbour relations, made this a truly exceptional site.

Co-op Castlewood Developments
Presented to: Nick Lakin
Contractor: Winvic Construction Ltd
Client: Clowes Developments (UK) Limited

Located on an industrial estate and bordered by a designer outlet store, a farm and residential housing, this project centred on a large new Co-operative Society distribution centre adjacent to Junction 28 of the M1.

Early installation of a concrete road at the contractor's expense, plus all the main concrete and hard standing areas, ensured both clean access to the site and safer working for the many elevated work platforms required. All operatives' work wear included a large, clear name panel to promote a friendlier working environment. Carbon offsetting included the planting of one tree for every 20 kilogram's of carbon generated, while further environmental attention included the use of recycled hardcore.

Extensive charity fundraising was supported by the construction of a long footpath to allow safer and swifter passage across the large industrial site by members of the public. Practical help was also provided for the local scout troop in accessing an area of woodland, as well as the installation of gates and fencing for a resident.

Further supported by excellent residential staff facilities, the employment of specialist trainers for modern site equipment and immaculate cleanliness, this site scored very highly and was a credit to the aims of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

Click here to search the Scheme's National Site Awards database to view all award winning sites since 1999.